Love & Happiness – Californian Plant-based Caterer Theresa Rountree and her citrus and berry mini cakes

theresa-main

Citrus and Berry Mini Cakes

Citrus almond cakes, ginger vanilla coconut whip, and fresh berries

INGREDIENTS:

For the Coconut whip
2 cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
½ tsp gingertheresa-1

1 tsp vanilla
Sweetener of choice, to taste
1 tsp grated fresh beet, for color (optional)

Open the chilled cans of coconut milk. Scrape out the firm coconut cream, leaving the clear liquid. Stir in the ginger, vanilla, sweetener, and beet, if using. Keep chilled.

For the cakes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup ground almond flour
1 cup raw sugar
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1½ cups non-dairy milk
¾ cup coconut oil (melted)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
Juice and zest from 1 lime
1 cup frozen mixed berries (fresh berries, popped in the freezer for 20 minutes)

Edible flowers
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Grease and flour a large muffin tray. A regular cupcake pan or individual ramekins will work too. Combine the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the non-dairy milk, coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice and zest, and lime juice and zest. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just till combined. Fill each muffin cup ¾ full. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes till cakes have risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. Remove cakes from the tin. Run a knife along the edges if needed. Slice each cake in half through the middle (like a bun). Pipe some coconut whip in the middle and add some fresh frozen berries. Flash-freezing the berries helps keep the coconut whip firm! Place the top back on, pipe some more coconut whip and more fresh berries. Finish off with some edible flowers.


Q: What can’t you live without in the kitchen?
A:
My food processor!! I use it for so many things. Cauliflower rice, nut cheeses, hummus… the list goes on.
Q: Some of your favorite ingredients?
A:
Cashews, fresh herbs, coconut milk, sweet potatoes, and Meyer lemons. I put lemon juice on everything!
Q: Any food secret you swear by?
A:
I love to use soy sauce or tamari in place of salt in all kinds of dishes for some extra depth of flavor!


Warm Mediterranean Vegetable Salad

Sautéed eggplant, artichoke hearts, and bell peppers over herbed cauliflower rice topped with kalamata olives, marinated red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and tofu “feta” cheese.

theresa-2
INGREDIENTS

For the tofu feta and marinated veggies
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup kalamata olive brine (or red wine vinegar)
Juice from 2 lemons
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
4 oz extra firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Combine the olive oil, brine or vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add in the tofu, red onion, cucumber, and tomatoes. Let sit for at least an hour.

For the vegetables
2 tsp oil of choice
1 cup quartered artichoke hearts
1 large eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 orange bell pepper, diced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add in then artichoke hearts, eggplant, and bell pepper. Cook till lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

For the cauliflower rice
1 head of cauliflower, leaves and stem removed
1 tbsp oil of choice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Grate the cauliflower with a box grater or with a food processor. Heat oil in a large pan. Sauté onion for a few minutes. Add in cauliflower. Cover. Turn heat down to low and cook for about 10 minutes to let the cauliflower soften and brown slightly. Add in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place the sautéed veggies over the cauliflower rice and top with the tofu feta, marinated vegetables, some kalamata olives, and finish off with a drizzle of the marinade over the top.